Kids Health

The best snacks for kids when you're on the go

When you’ve got a family on the go, you know how important it is to have snacks available even when you’re in the car. Whether you’re road-tripping or just going back and forth between school, work, home and practice, chances are that your car sees its fair share of mealtimes.

There are a lot of options out there, but some are better than others. We asked real moms about their favorite car snacks to see which items strike the perfect balance between satisfaction, convenience, kid-friendliness and tidiness. After all, no one wants to find yogurt slopped all over the back seat, and even if it’s neat and healthy, most kids aren’t going to be too enthusiastic about salmon jerky.

Instead, these treats are tasty enough for kids to enjoy while also being simple and easy to clean up if anything does get spilled. The next time you find yourself in the car with hungry kids in tow, consider one of these satisfying snacks.

Dried fruit

“I have a 2-year-old and we travel often (he’s been on 25 flights and traveled to three countries),” shared Rebecca Cafiero, a holistic nutritionist. One of her favorite snacks for planes, trains and automobiles is dried coconut. It’s “a delicious, crunchy snack….and if they spill, it’s easy to clean up!”

Wheat Thins

Melanie, a mom of 6-year-old twins who blogs at Twin Mom Mel, reaches for the Wheat Thins on car trips. “They don’t leave much residue on my fingers, plus I can share them with the kids,” she explained.

Granola bars

Looking for a snack that’s “easy to grab on-the-go, not too messy, and made from simple ingredients”? Jen Panaro, a mom of two boys, ages 5 and 3, and writer at Honestly Modern, reaches for all-natural granola bars (like Larabar) while out and about, usually at Sheetz.

String cheese

Some snacks are always a hit, and for Lauren Goldblatt, mom to two boys, ages 5 and 6, there’s one that stands out. “Two words…String. Cheese.” Why is it a hit? “It’s healthy (lots of calcium), fun (peel away!), and not messy (my personal favorite).”


You can’t go wrong with a classic, and for Hyacinth Tucker of The Perfect Gift Concierge, that means pretzels. “My daughter is 11 years old. Our favorite go-to snack for the car is pretzels. They can survive all temperatures (hot or cold car), and they curb our appetite until we eat a meal.”


Planning ahead is great, but sometimes you have to stop for a bite to eat. Jessica Wright of Millennial Mommy has twin toddler girls. When they need to stop for a snack, she likes to get muffins or loaves of banana bread and the like at a convenience store.

Apples (with cream cheese or nut butter)

“I have two priorities in the car when we are on a road trip,” shared Leslie Fischer of Sustainable Slumber, a mom of four boys ranging in age from 3 to 9. “One, I do not want foods that create crumbs. And two, I want something healthy to keep tempers cool.” Her trick? “I slice an apple in half and cut out the core, creating a ‘well’ in the middle of the apple half. I fill that hole with cream cheese, peanut butter or other nut butters. Then, I put the two halves of the apple back together and hold it together with a rubber band.” There are no crumbs, and the filling can’t escape from the apple since it’s held together with the rubber band.

Mandarin oranges

Sometimes nature provides the perfect snack, says registered dietitian Lauren O’Connor. When she needs a road trip snack for her 9-year-old twin girls, she opts for mandarin oranges, which are often sold under the name Halos or Cuties. “They’re small, naturally packaged (with easy-to-peel skin) and tasty. Small is good because they can easily finish one, thus there’s no waste.”

This post was sponsored by Sheetz.

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